Ronald Acuna Jr.

USA Today

Swing The Hammer, Commish

Cowardly. Gutless. Garbage. A garbage move, by a garbage pitcher, and frankly what a garbage team.

August 16, 2018 - 9:34 am

68 games into his big league career, Ronald Acuña has made one thing clear -- he's a star. Just 20 years old. After getting called up at the end of April, all Acuna has done is rake. 19 bombs. 43 RBI. Home runs in 5 straight games, the youngest guy in the history of baseball to do that. 

Think of something awesome, and this cat's doing it. His slugging percentage would be Top 5 in the national league if he had enough at-bats to qualify. His OPS is right there, too. A guy who came into the season as the Number 1 prospect in baseball is the best up and coming player on what might be the best up and coming team in the game. 

And last night, on the first pitch of the bottom of the first inning, after taking the Marlins deep from the leadoff spot on three straight nights, THIS HAPPENED: 

Let me find a way to describe what Jose Ureña did right there. Found it: Gutless. Found another one: Cowardly. Found another: Idiotic. Found one more: Straight garbage. 

And for all those hard-core, old-school guys out there, the ones who talk about THE CODE and keep tabs on the unwritten rules of baseball, let me give you a dose of REAL TALK  here: This is the kind of crap that makes people hate baseball. And this is something that baseball absolutely can't put up with any more. 

Look, baseball's code barely makes sense on its best day. The unwritten rules of the game are unwritten for a reason. Because once you write them down, you realize how stupid they really are. 

And last night, one of the brightest young stars in the game ate a 97 mile an hour missile.  AND WHY? Because he had the nerve to do something nobody in the history of baseball has ever done. Great look, baseball. Just terrific. And you wonder why the national pastime is having trouble keeping people interested? You shouldn't anymore. 

Again. Cowardly. Gutless. Garbage. A garbage move, by a garbage pitcher, and frankly what a garbage team. Derek Jeter’s crew has embarrassed themselves yet again. But not only embarrassed themselves, but embarrassed the game. We suck and can’t do our jobs, so we’ll hurt you to make sure you can’t do yours either. So. Yes, this is a Marlins problem. But it’s also a BASEBALL PROBLEM. 

I mean, what other sport would ever condone this crap? 

Back this up and think about it from a different perspective. If somebody takes a blatant cheap shot on Baker Mayfield or Sam Darnold, what do you think the NFL is going to do? If somebody undercuts Joel Embiid or Donovan Mitchell because they can't stop them, how many games is the NBA handing out? Hell, how long does a guy survive in the NHL if he takes a dirty run at Connor McDavid? 

I know postgame, Ureña said he was just trying to throw inside. I know postgame Donnie Baseball said that the Marlins didn't want him to hit Acuna. Maybe, they didn’t. Maybe the Marlins didn’t. But Urena sure as hell did.

Nothing about this was subtle. Again, it was the first pitch of the freaking game. Ureña put 97.5 on the gun, the hardest first pitch he's thrown all season and one of the fastest pitches he's thrown all year. Catcher J.T. Realmuto was set up low and in. And it's not like Ureña reacted like a guy who was disappointed he missed his spot. 

Bottom line: Baseball has got to do something.   

The standard fine and missed start or two isn't enough. It obviously is not a deterrent.  Not if it keeps happening. So, don’t come in here with one of those five game passes, Major League Baseball. Five games for a starting pitcher isn’t a suspension, it’s a day off. Send a message. Say that you’re not going to tolerate this crap any longer. Go 20 games. Hell, go even longer than that and I’d still support it. Because what that says is that you’re protecting players. 5 games says you don’t care about protecting your players. Longer says you do.  

You have a hammer, Commish. Swing it. It’s killing the game. And one of these days, one of these red asses on the bump are going to kill someone. 

Because what we should be talking about is c. The next great star in baseball and a guy in the middle of a historic streak. But instead, we're talking about the cowards who dotted him, because they couldn't think of any other way to stop him.